To my daughter, on her birthday....
I found your sonogram pictures the other day---five or six of them, stored in an envelope with your birth certificate and the name chart and growth chart from your stint in the NICU. The sonogram pictures were our first pictures of you---the earliest of them was when you were a whopping 4mm long. I was five or six weeks pregnant and terrified that I was having another miscarriage; my OB took pity on me and my fears and squeezed me in, somehow, for an ultrasound.
And that was when I saw you for the first time. I realize, if you read this later, that you might think that you looked like a really small baby, but you didn't, not then. You did look like the seed that gave you your first nickname (Sprout) before we knew if you were a boy or girl...but then, that early, you were just this tiny life who'd arrived in our lives against tall odds. I fell in love with you then---which you probably won't truly understand until you have a child of your own, but it's true. I saw you on that screen and I knew I'd fight for you, struggle with you, love you, no matter what.
It's four years later, four years since your birth and I don't quite have the words to describe how you've changed both of our lives---the terror and joy and hope and awe that we've felt as we watched you be born and grow. We're seeing more and more of you now, parts of me, parts of your dad, and parts that are most definitely just you, the unique presence that I first saw on that ultrasound all those years ago.
Happy 4th birthday, Róisín. :-) We love you, so very, very much.
- Wife, mom of a preemie, follower of the old ways, lover of anything Irish or Celtic, history buff, trivia nut, Star Trek and Ren Faire geek and costuming fiend. Offer me coffee or chocolate and world peace is assured. Or at least I'll try really hard. :) I also believe in deleting spam. So, to the person or persons who keep leaving me comments in Chinese (along with links to what I can clearly tell are Chinese porn sites) stop it. It's bad karma, to say nothing of being really, really rude.
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